SONORA ELEMENTARY SCHOOL Honored As A 2008 “National No Child Left Behind Title I Distinguished Schools Recognition Award”

sonoraelementarynewportmesaSonora Elementary School, a 475-pupil campus in a residential neighborhood near the 55 and 73 freeways, has experienced a dramatic turnaround in its academic performance in the past four years.

In 2005, the school was placed on federal academic probation for failing to meet its standardized-testing targets under the No Child Left Behind Act.

School officials immediately rolled out a multi-pronged intervention strategy that focused on Sonora’s biggest weakness, language arts. The strategy included after-school tutorials, pre-teaching to English learners, and separating children within each classroom by skill level.

california-distinguished-school1Since that time, the school’s Academic Performance Index score – an overall gauge of a school’s scholastic showing – has shot up by a whopping 135 points, to 844. California’s benchmark target for schools is 800.

The school’s federal academic probation status also was removed after just one year.

“I can’t say the (intervention strategies) were popular with everyone,” Sonora Elementary Principal Christine Anderson said. “But I said, ‘We can either work together to solve this our ourselves, or someone will come in and tell us how to fix things.'”


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